- “Fair? I'll tell you what's not fair: Spending a lifetime on a dime-store shelf watching every other toy be sold! Well, finally my waiting has paid off, and no hand-me-down cowboy doll is gonna mess it up for me now!”
- ―Stinky Pete revealing his true nature to Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye, who try to escape[src]
Stinky Pete (or simply known as the Prospector) is one of the two main antagonists (alongside Al McWhiggin) of Disney•Pixar's 1999 animated film Toy Story 2. He is a vintage pull-string prospector ragdoll from the 1950s, and inside his original box, his accessories include a pickaxe and a gold pan.
Stinky Pete was never bought or played with by a child and spent a lifetime on a dime-store shelf, watching every other toy be sold to their new owners, which caused him to grow bitter, selfish, and angry. He was later sold to Al McWhiggin, who never took him out of the box for unknown reasons, which made him even more insane and angrier. Since Al was grown up, he planned to sell Stinky Pete to a toy museum in Tokyo. Stinky Pete found this to be good news, if kids didn't want him, they can't have him once they change their minds. However, Al learned that the museum wanted the entire Woody's Roundup Gang toys and went to collect them all, so Stinky Pete had to wait. After he met Jessie and Bullseye, Stinky Pete befriended them while they waited for Woody.
When he first appeared, Stinky Pete was initially a kind, wise, well-spoken, and grandfatherly mentor-like character, giving support and advice to Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye throughout the first half of the film. However, this merely hid his true nature, which was intelligent, sneaky, and embittered. This was most likely caused by the years of emotional pain he had endured during a lifetime in a dime-store shelf and not being sold to any children due to their preference of space toys after the launch of Sputnik, as well as the fact that his character was the least popular Woody's Roundup member. Along with the shift of interest to space toys, the fact that this resulted in Woody's Roundup getting cancelled further contributed to his own hatred of space toys and children. Even while he shrouded his nature, he secretly planned to prevent Woody from returning to his owner Andy at any cost, sabotaging Woody's escape by secretly turning on the television to wake Al up and putting the blame on Jessie without hesitation.
When Woody finally decided he would return to Andy and take the other Roundup toys with him despite the warning Stinky Pete gave him about Andy outgrowing and forgetting him, this finally prompted him to snap and reveal his true nature and intentions. The fact that he was willing to spend years of eternity sealed inside a museum away from contact with children also showed that he had developed solitariness traits due to spending most of his time within his box. He was also hypocritical, as he was willing to harm or tear apart other toys so his goal of toys escaping harm from children in the eternal museum life would be fulfilled, This was evidenced by him reopening the old rip in Woody's arm and threatening to tear him apart.
His own inexperience of being played with by a child, along with hearing Jessie's story of being outgrown by her previous owner Emily lead to him feeling that children were only destroyers of toys whose ultimate fate will be spending an eternity rotting in landfills. He also believed that rare, unpopular, and collectible toys like him and the other Roundup toys were doomed to either always ending up in storage or remaining unsold to any children similar to his fate before Al found him. These beliefs further motivated his desire to spend an eternity in the museum, accepting it was the only salvation for all toys.
Despite his villainous nature, he has redeemable traits as the character stated in his online interview after the film that he liked his new owner Amy's face paint decorations even though he initially feared it after Andy's toys placed him in Amy's backpack. This can demonstrate that Stinky Pete was wronged by rejection and unappreciation and that he most likely would not have ever been bad if he had been owned by a child from the start.
On Woody's Roundup, Stinky Pete was a regular recurring protagonist. Though depicted mostly as an accident-prone, stereotypical, simple-minded hillbilly and comic relief, Pete was established on the show as an overall good-natured friend and ally of Woody, Bullseye, and Jessie.
Role in the film
This Prospector is still "mint in the box," making him sought after by collectors. He always carries a pick around like a real prospector and had lived his entire life in his box, which has never been opened. Thus, he was greatly valued for still being in mint condition. He spends much time in storage with Jessie and Bullseye and eventually meets Woody after Al stole him. Stinky Pete is excited as this meant he and the gang could finally reside in the Konishi Toy Museum without the fear of destruction by children. Unfortunately, Woody still had an owner, prompting Stinky Pete to stop him from returning to Andy at any cost.
When Woody tries to retrieve his severed arm from Al, Stinky Pete secretly leaves his box, steals the remote, and turns on the television, waking up Al. He frames Jessie with the remote so he could not be blamed for the incident. When Woody and Jessie begin to fight, Stinky Pete breaks it up, saying he does not know how the television turned on, but fighting about it will solve nothing. After getting repaired, Woody decides to leave the gang for home, but Stinky Pete convinces him to make amends with Jessie first. After hearing Jessie's sad story of how she was abandoned by her former owner Emily, and learning from Stinky Pete that Andy would eventually grow up as well, Woody decides to stick with the gang to join them in the museum.
However, Buzz and his friends arrive in the apartment room to save Woody from being sold. Buzz leaves Woody to contemplate his decision, saying he would never be loved again if he spent eternity behind glass. Stinky Pete tries to commend Woody after Buzz leaves the room, but is unable to cheer him up, as he is disappointed about what he had said to Buzz and the other toys. Stinky Pete watches Woody, who comes to realize his mistake and declares to Buzz he would return with him and the others. While Woody invites an uncertain Jessie and an eager Bullseye to come along, Stinky Pete decides to take the matter into his own hands, so he leaves his box, traps Woody and the others by shutting and sealing the grate leading to an air vent, and reveals he was the one who turned on the television the night before to sabotage Woody's escape. He then swears that Woody and the gang are to go to Japan with him, where they would spend eternity with him in a protected exhibit, away from children's reach.
Woody and Jessie try to stand up to Stinky Pete, only to learn he was never sold to anyone after he had spent a lifetime on a dime-store shelf and was therefore resentful. Stinky Pete declares that the museum is his only chance of finally becoming appreciated and he would have no "hand-me-down cowboy doll" mess up his only chance of going. When Woody yells for Buzz's help, Stinky Pete discourages Woody by making fun of Buzz's name, telling him he cannot help him as Woody angrily corrects him. He also reveals how much he hated those upstart space toys. Al then arrives and packs his Roundup collection, including Woody, into his case and heads out of his penthouse.
At Tri-County International Airport, when Buzz finds and opens the case to free Woody, Stinky Pete angrily punches him off the ramp. Furious by this, Woody fights back for harming his friend. Using his pickaxe, Stinky Pete reopens an old rip on Woody's arm (although Woody could still move it this time) and offers him a choice of going to Japan together or in pieces, assuring if he has been fixed once, he can be fixed again. He orders Woody to get back into the case, to which Woody angrily refuses, leaving an infuriated Stinky Pete now with no choice but to raise his pick, ready to tear him to pieces. But before he can, Buzz (who has survived the fall) and the others manage to save Woody's life by stunning Stinky Pete with flash cameras that they had acquired from another luggage where they had accidentally found them earlier.
After Buzz grabs him, Stinky Pete calls them idiots and warns them they would be tortured by children, abandoned, and end up spending eternity rotting in a landfill. Woody can still move his arm because the old tear Stinky Pete had reopened is just a little rip. Then the toys decide, per Woody's decision, to teach Stinky Pete "the true meaning of playtime" and they shove him into off-screen luggage.
Stinky Pete ends up in the backpack belonging to a young girl named Amy, who loves to paint the faces of her toys. At that point, Amy decides to give Stinky Pete a makeover. Horrified at this thought (especially after seeing her Barbie's face), Stinky Pete sobs in defeat as he is taken to his new owner's home as Woody happily bids farewell to him.
Though this appears to be a bad ending, it is, in a sense, poetic justice for him. Stinky Pete had endured being ignored by children for decades and he was now finally being owned by one.
Stinky Pete appears in the game as a meet-and-greet character along the Big Thunder Trail in Frontierland. At one point, he gives the player a fishing rod as a gift. He also asks the player to help track down some rustlers that are supposedly in the area.
Though Stinky Pete does not make any live appearances, he does appear in some attractions and merchandise and has appeared in one of the Parks.
He makes an appearance in Toy Story Midway Mania! in the mineshaft game. His personality and voice are based more on what it is in "Woody's Round Up" than the one that Woody meets. Impressed by all the gold they score, he suggests they look at the player's score.
- His nickname, Stinky Pete, is also a colloquialism of Saltpeter, a primary ingredient in making gunpowder and explosives.
- In the film's credits and various tie-in books, he is simply credited as The Prospector.
- He is only referred to as "Stinky Pete" twice in the film and only by Woody as a way of mocking him. Throughout the rest of the film, he is just called "Prospector" by the characters.
- He was a long-time member of the Roundup Gang on television and was often the butt of many humiliating jokes, including having the sharp end of his pickaxe stuck in his rear end and not realizing it.
- In an outtake, when the Prospector tells Woody he can either go back to Andy or stay with them, he ruins the moment by farting loudly. He then remarks that was why they call him "Stinky Pete."
- Stinky Pete was marked by his severe hatred for "space toys", whom he had blamed for causing the cancellation of the show, which ran on television until the launch of Sputnik, which led to children's subsequent loss of interest in cowboy toys.
- Though he appears to be kind and fatherly, some of his true nature is revealed early in the film when discussing the cancellation of Woody's Roundup due to the launch of Sput-nik and showing his resentment toward space toys and his feeling of being let down by children.
- After Toy Story 2 was released, there were interviews with all the characters on the website, including Stinky Pete, who stated that he had grown accustomed to having Amy decorate him, and he liked it, having reformed with a change of heart.
- Though Stinky Pete does not appear in Toy Story 3, he appeared in Toy Story 3: The Video Game as a minor character (this time more like Woody's Roundup version). However, Kelsey Grammer did not reprise his role for an unknown reason.
- Stinky Pete predicted some of the events in Toy Story 3:
- Before Buzz, Woody, and the gang stuffed him into Amy's backpack, he said that the toys would end up in a landfill, and they did, though it is caused by Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear dragging Woody into the rubbish bin by his ankle.
- In Toy Story 2, he asked Woody if he thought that Andy was going to take him to college or on his honeymoon as it was unlikely an adult would do so. While in Toy Story 3, his prediction on that turned out to be true, with Andy ultimately handing Woody and his other toys (including Jessie and Bullseye) over to Bonnie. However, it should be noted that Andy was indeed initially planning on taking Woody with him to college, therefore defying the Prospector's expectations.
- He said, "Children destroy toys!", foreshadowing the rough play scene in the Caterpillar Room in Sunnyside Daycare.
- Stinky Pete's pull-string voice box is never heard. However, according to his box, he says nine different phrases, which probably went for the rest of the gang as well (except Bullseye). Some of them included: "There's Gold in them ther Hills", "Help! I think I'm stuck", "Aw...Shucks-A-Roo", and "Oh Boy!...Beans for Dinner."
- Despite being neither one of Andy's toys nor one of Bonnie's toys, Stinky Pete makes a cameo in Toy Story Mania!. Again, like the Toy Story 3 video game, Grammer did not reprise his role.
- Stinky Pete is the only one of the Woody's Roundup characters whose voice sounds completely different between his TV appearance and his toy self. The former depicts him with a high-pitched Southern accent while the latter has him with a deep, sophisticated voice. However, it should be noted that Jessie loses her western accent in several moments.
- In the 2017 Ducktales episode "The Outlaw Scrooge McDuck!", Scrooge McDuck dresses like him when he is prospecting.
- In an outtake from Toy Story 2, Stinky Pete was talking to the Barbie twins about getting them a part in Toy Story 3. Since this was non-canon, it turns out it wasn't real, as only one Barbie appeared in the third film.
- It should be noted that in 2019, the film's 20th anniversary, this outtake was removed to reflect the #MeToo movement and the ousting of John Lasseter as head of animation amidst sexual harassment allegations.